Knowing God and Who He is will prepare children to trust Him during life’s trials and difficulties.
Here are two books that changed my life.
What Do I Know About my God? by Mardi Collier
This book challenges you to get to know your God by starting to list out verses about God’s character by topic. My God is good is one category. But how do I know He is good? That’s where you list verses that you come across in Scripture that describe how you can bank on His goodness. Two verses in that category are Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” and Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.” (NKJV)
I can begin to describe how thinking in these categories has helped me in times of difficulty. If I’m struggling with ANYTHING, there is a truth about God that will comfort, challenge or encourage me.
When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference by Carolyn Custis James
This book presents how the two truths about God–that He is in control/sovereign and that He is good–are often tested and tried by our circumstances. And ultimately, you have to trust that God is in control and that He is good because God’s Word says so, not because your life seems to show it to be true right now.
Children who learn about God and His nature and attributes from a young age, especially if these concepts are accompanied by verses, will be prepared to encounter difficulty all along life’s way.
One concept that has really helped me when I find my soul in a quandry is to ask myself three questions. Usually at that time in my life one of these is particularly applicable.
- In this situation, how is God my Savior? (What is He ready to save me from? Am I looking to Him as my Savior?)
- How is He my Lord? (Am I submitting to His will? Am I willing to serve Him?)
- How is He my Example? (Is Jesus asking me to take up my cross and follow Him in this?)
So how does this apply to teaching Children about God? Well, if I am looking to God and meditating on His attributes, it will come out in my speech. If I pray for help to find the lost keys or library book and my kids see me pray and then God answer, then you better believe it, when they are looking for their lost dolly shoe, that little head bows and asks Jesus to help her find her dolly’s shoe.
One way that I taught this to children in a very rudimentary way was in my Sunday School class one time. We had a prayer time where we would write out a prayer request on a strip of construction paper. When God answered the prayer, we stapled the answers together into a chain. It was neat to see the chain grow longer every week.
I soon realized that I needed to teach the children not just to pray for requests, but to praise God for who He is. So I started writing “Dear God, I praise you because…” and gave each child a small card with an attribute of God. “You are loving,” “You are kind,” “You are powerful,” “You are in control,” and others. I tried to explain to them a little about what it meant. Their faith-filled prayers were all the more sweet as they praised Jehovah for being loving and kind.